…driven through insufferable hunger to eat those things which nature most abhorred, the flesh and excrements of man as well of our own nation as of an Indian, digged by some out of his grave after he had laid buried there days and wholly devoured him; others, envying the better state of body of any whom hunger has not yet so much wasted as their own, lay wait and threatened to kill and eat them; one among them slew his wife as she slept in his bosom, cut her in pieces, salted her and fed upon her till he had clean devoured all parts saving her head.
—Jamestown in the winter of 1609-1610, according to a 1619 document that recounted the settlements’ early years. Even if the story sounds worse than it actually was to make it a more interesting telling, there is no ignoring the fact that in the fall there were 214 settlers. In the spring, there were 60. It was called “the Starving Time” for a reason. (via historical-nonfiction)
Can you imagine how awful it would have been to know that this was your only option?
(Source: historyisaweapon.com, via historical-nonfiction)